Monday, May 29, 2006

The Cost of Being Catholic


Think the parking lot scandal at Hollywood & Highland is something? Read how Hollywood Thoughts may have accidentally uncovered how the Catholic church is recovering millions of dollars spent on legal fees for child abuse cases…

Being a good Aunt, my Wife decided to make the trip to downtown’s, Our Lady of the Angels cathedral to buy a gift for a nephew’s first communion (yes, like any of L.A.’s ‘themed’ venues, Cardinal Mahoney’s digs features a gift shop).

My Wife made her purchase, took our son on a small tour of the grounds, and lit a couple of candles for the dearly departed (two bucks a pop in case you’re considering a trip of your own).

A thought on the cathedral itself:


I don’t care for it. It reminds me of a U-Store-It joint on steroids. Sorta sad to think that they designed the place to stand for 500 years. I can only imagine the disappointment art historians-from-the-future will have when they uncover this uninspiring building.

Did I also mention how much I dislike the cathedral’s highly visible etched trumpeting-angels-on-glass? You’ve seen them—they’re above the freeway and look like a cheesy shower door appliqué.

I digress.











Back to my main point: My wife left the Cathedral after roughly two hours and headed for the underground parking lot. No, Cardinal Mahoney doesn’t validate (at least parking stubs--but perhaps he hands-out free back slaps and an, “Attaboy!” when your internal spirit is sagging).

Imagine my wife’s surprise when she discovered she owed the local archdiocese eighteen bucks for the pleasure of visiting the gift shop, and buying a couple of candles.

Yeah, eighteen bucks.

Now it can be said that the world finally knows the going rate for being a Catholic. If you’ve ever wondered how to calculate the cost of your faith on a minute-by-minute basis, the good Cardinal has the answer:

Three bucks for every twenty minutes.

How’d he arrive at that sum?

Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church, had himself a cool pen and breastplate to receive “The Word”— but maybe Mahoney only need look as far as Five Star Parking to get an answer for this age-old question regarding the earthly burden of faith.

There’s more-- and here’s where the fog of scandal descends upon our story of the Lady of the Angels…

When my wife told me how expensive it is to go to church, I did a little research. Parking at the cathedral costs three bucks for every twenty minutes— up to a maximum of $14 dollars.

We were overcharged by $4.

'Big deal,' you say? Sure, it’s a small amount for one person, but in the big picture you wonder how many other folks get scammed. A couple of bucks here and there adds up pretty quick-- just ask the city treasurer about the hundreds of thousands that are missing from their Hollywood lot.

One parking attendant’s honest mistake? Could be… but how hard is it to remember what the maximum charge is?

With legal fees in child abuse cases mounting each day, the mind wonders if a poor Cardinal’s gotta do what a poor Cardinal’s gotta do… ???

37 Comments:

At 6:03 PM, Blogger MsDee said...

What would Jesus charge?
Salvation is free but Parking is 17 bucks. Too weird

 
At 8:40 PM, Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

This is really disgusting..I mean that the parking there is so outrageously expensive! And then...adding insult to injury...you are overcharged???? In the words of Moses...OY OY OY!

I don't know anything about the Hollywood-Highland Parking Lot Scandal...I'm out of the loop evn though I live pretty much up above that whole complex, in these hills...! Where do I read about that, my dear?

 
At 12:16 AM, Blogger DodgerJon said...

Hello, Natalie!

I'm on the road shooting a show in Oregon & Hawaii these days...

The Hollywood & Highland scandal resulted from a two-day audit by the city of LA. The city maintains that roughly twenty percent of all parking tickets went missing during that period. If the math holds, the city is being cheated out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in parking revenue. Five Star parking maintains that the audit calculations are flawed. Rashoman.

The LA Times did one or two stories on this last week.

Hope you are well,

--Jon

 
At 8:04 PM, Blogger humanefly said...

I recently posted about the Corporation of Christ, it really is the richest corporation on the planet.

 
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